ACCORDING to a recent poll across 10 EU countries, euroscepticism is increasing across Europe. It found the strongest supporters of the EU were in Poland (72 per cent) and Hungary (61 per cent) – arguably the biggest net recipients of the EU budget – compared with just 27 per cent in Greece, 38 per cent (France) and 44 per cent (the UK).
Enough euroscepticism in the UK to lead to Brexit? According to Daniel Kahneman, the influential economics Nobel laureate, simply “irritation and anger” may just do it: “The major impression one gets observing the debate is that the reasons for exit are clearly emotional.
The arguments look short-term and based on irritation and anger. These seem to be powerful enough that they may lead to Brexit.” With Leave campaigners keeping the focus on immigration – most voters believe recent EU migration has been bad for the NHS, schools, housing and national security according to yet another poll – you can see what he’s getting at, can’t you?
Take one small example in the recent change of tactics by migrants, ‘irritation’ at the increasing number now attempting to reach Britain via the English Channel given the problems with the former Turkey-Greece route.
And ‘anger’ at the inevitable outcome. Of course those in difficulty in the Channel will have to be brought ashore to be ‘cared for’ by the Border Agency (as the BBC described the news about one sinking boatload of Albanians). It’d be impossible for the authorities to act one way in the Channel and another in the Mediterranean.
Effectively a convenient taxi service, then? And what about a boatload of migrants who’ve thrown their passports in the sea. They’ll likely be brought ashore as asylum seekers and, to protect their human rights, mostly have to stay? And soon bring their families? You get Kahneman’s point, don’t you. We’re only halfway through 2016.
What’s possibly next up? Brexit, collapse of the Tory party, Corbyn as PM, recession, more anti-EU referendums across Europe, Donald Trump elected president just in time for Christmas. You couldn’t make it up.
Nora Johnson’s thrillers ‘No Way Back’, ‘Landscape of Lies’, ‘Retribution’, ‘Soul Stealer’, ‘The De Clerambault Code’ (www.nora-johnson.com) available from Amazon in paperback/e-book (€0.89; £0.79) and iBookstore.
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